Daily Briefs

Cooley and Oakland University to host panel discussion on the Defense of Marriage Act at noon

Cooley Law School and Oakland University’s Political Science Department and Honors College will host a panel discussion to commemorate Constitution Day. The interactive discussion, which is open to the public, is centered on the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision striking down a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act. The presentation will be moderated by Cooley Professor and Acting Assistant Dean Frank Aiello. Panelists include Jay Kaplan, ACLU of Michigan LGBT Project staff attorney, and Cooley Constitutional Law Professor Dan Ray.
The event will take place 12-1 p.m. in the Heritage Room of Oakland Center on Oakland University’s campus located at 2200 N. Squirrel Road in Rochester.


Chief Judge Gerald Rosen opens mediation talks in bankruptcy

DETROIT (AP) — A judge has opened the first formal mediation talks aimed at striking deals between creditors and the city of the Detroit in the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history.
Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen and five other mediators introduced themselves Tuesday to dozens of lawyers and Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr. Every seat in the courtroom was full as Rosen gave a pep talk to lawyers representing Detroit, labor unions, bond holders and other creditors. He says agreements are better than years of "horrendous" litigation. Detroit says it has debt of at least $18 billion.

Judge’s assets an issue in former court employee’s $1.2M case

DETROIT (AP) — A Dearborn judge was barred Tuesday from any unusual asset transfers while a former court employee tries to collect more than $1 million awarded after she claimed she was wrongly fired.
Judge Mark Somers had no objection to the order, and U.S. District Judge David Lawson described it as a “pretty routine” move. There was no suggestion that Somers was trying to keep assets out of the reach of Julie Pucci.
Somers has paid only $420 since a jury in 2011 ruled in favor of Pucci, who claimed her rights were violated when her job as deputy administrator in 19th District Court was eliminated and she wasn’t promoted. Pucci complained that Somers sent religious messages on court stationery and was proselytizing from the bench. Pucci was awarded about $1.2 million, including $420,000 in legal fees, although the figure continues to grow with interest.
It is still uncertain who's on the hook for the judgment: Somers or Dearborn taxpayers who finance the city's District Court. That dispute likely is headed to Wayne County Circuit Court.